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Why Businesses Stop SEO Too Soon (and may hate themselves later)

Don't Stop SEO Too Soon

Without a doubt, SEO is one of the most valuable long term marketing strategies you can employ.

These prospects are ready to buy, they’re searching for a business just like yours, and it’s how they want to find you (rather than getting interrupted in other media).

However, all too often I see business owners get cold feet.

They’ve been at it for a few months, trying to get ranked by themselves or working with an SEO agency.

But the phone calls and traffic aren’t coming in yet, so they stop their SEO efforts entirely.

This is a BIG mistake for most businesses.

In this article, I will explain the psychology behind why people stop SEO too early before seeing results, why you may only be one month away from long term lead generation and sales, and why it detrimental to your business to stop too early.

Let’s dive right in:

Why Some People Stop SEO Too Early

How Long Does This SEO Take?

While being extremely valuable, SEO is characteristically different than other forms of marketing.

It’s based entirely online, you’re working with an unknown algorithm, and you’re largely beholden to one company (Google).

Most notably, SEO takes time to implement.

It’s usually a matter of months before you see results and start to benefit from those results.

But once you have them, and you keep up your SEO efforts, you now have a long term lead generation and sales system in place for the foreseeable future.

However, it’s the time aspect of SEO which causes business owners to get cold feet.

If they feel like it’s taking too long, they start to imagine their investment losses.

They start feeling like they don’t know what they’re doing.

They start losing confidence in their SEO agency.

And the unknowns of Google start plaguing their thoughts.

All of these are completely understandable.

They’re natural thoughts and feelings to have if you’re not accustomed to navigating the small business SEO landscape.

But if you are an experienced SEO, you understand if you make the right moves, if you play the game the right way (the way Google wants you to), it’s only a matter of time before you see results.

Once the results come in, and you’re ecstatic about the new marketing system serving your business, you begin to realize all of those fears were unfounded.

And now you’re much more confident moving forward in scaling your SEO efforts, traffic, and leads.

Unfortunately for those who stop too soon, they never see these results.

Yet, they may have been just around the corner.

Like the miner in the graphic below, you’re sometimes just a fraction away from the goal you’re trying to reach.

Why You May Only Be One Month Away

I’ve seen it happen many times.

Clients get to the 4th month of SEO and if the phone isn’t ringing off the hook or traffic isn’t exploding, they start freaking out.

I don’t think it’s an overreaction.

It’s simply inexperience navigating this landscape.

But it almost always happens in the fourth month.

And guess what?

Month 5 is usually when phone calls and traffic start to really climb.

Month 5 SEO Results

Here’s what business owners must realize:

SEO takes anywhere from 3 to 9 months to kick in, depending on the site’s current authority, age of the website, and quality of the tactics being deployed.

And this amount of time can vary due to a number of factors.

For instance, brand new websites are typically put into what’s called the Google sandbox.

In the sandbox, Google holds back your rankings and traffic, even if other factors would otherwise have you ranking higher. (Google does this to mitigate the amount of spam in their search results).

But older websites are out of the sandbox already.

So if you’re starting SEO on a site that’s twelve months old or more, results will generally come faster.

In my experience, business owners tend to get nervous about a month before they actually start seeing results, because SEO is a slower marketing process than most of them are used to.

But once those rankings are in, clients are always happy they waited it out.

Why You Shouldn’t Stop SEO Too Soon

The biggest fear people have when doing SEO is wasting their time/monetary investment.

They’ve put four months into it with little results, and they’re afraid they might never see results if they continue.

Fight the Fear to Stop SEO

Here’s why you shouldn’t stop:

First, if you’re working with an experienced SEO agency, they know what they’re doing.

They live, breathe, and sleep search engine optimization.

They’re on top of the latest trends, they understand Google’s penalties, they know which strategies work and which don’t, and they have a ton of experience getting results in different industries.

Second, search engine optimization ROI is very high, and the potential benefits to your business are far too great.

Here are some of the benefits of search engine traffic:

  • Prospects are actively searching for your business
  • They want to find you
  • Once ranked, you have system for bringing in leads and sales for the long term
  • The buyers are pre-qualified and high quality

Third, Once You Stop Doing SEO, You’veDefinitely Wasted that Time and Investment

Click to Tweet

It’s not a maybe anymore.

And if you have a change of heart and restart a few months later, you’ve increased your costs in terms of lost sales, traffic, and momentum.

Finally, if you aren’t ranking at the top of Google, one or more of your competitors will be.

They will convert the customers which should have been yours.

Top Suggestion

If you’re a few months into your first SEO campaign, and you’re getting worried, I completely understand.

You’re not the only one.

Many business owners start to get stressed out if they haven’t seen results in three or four months.

SEO Rankings & Traffic Increase is Coming

But I’m here to tell you that this is completely normal.

Rankings typically start climbing noticeably in the fifth month, so you may only be a month or two away from seeing the results you’re looking for.

My top suggestion is to stick it out.

Trust in yourself or your SEO agency.

Because if they’re doing it right, it’s only a matter of time before your rankings come in.

Afterwards, you will have a lead generation and sales system which will serve your business for many months and years to come.

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Clicks Magazine: Social Media, Customer Referrals, & Facebook Ads

Clicks Online Magazine
  • Is Social Media Automation Right for Your Business?
  • 3 Strategies to Help Make Your Customer Referral Program a Success
  • 7 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Facebook Ad Campaigns
  • What Motivates People to Buy?

Download PDF


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How to Get Traffic to Your Website (in as little as 24 hours)

How to Get Traffic to Your Website (in as little as 24 hours)

lf there’s one thing just about every website business owner needs more of, its website traffic.

But not just any traffic.

Naturally, you want targeted traffic who is interested in what you’re selling.

How to you get traffic to your website?

Answer: by employing as many reliable traffic methods as possible.

Here are 12 ways you can drive targeted traffic to your website starting in as little as 24 hours:

How to Get Traffic to Your Website

Start a Facebook Group

Log into Facebook and click on Create a Group in the left-side navigation bar.

You’ll be able to choose a name for the group and choose whether it’s open (this is your best choice for a business), closed (must be a member to see the posts) or secret.

This is a great way to start a discussion group or support group.

For example, you could start a support group for those who are trying to lose weight or start a discussion group for people who like to modify their sports cars.

Invest in Facebook Advertising

Your audience is probably already using Facebook, which makes it a great way to get your message in front of them and drive trafficto your website.

Log into your Facebook account and start here:

Then use Facebook’s ad tools to narrow the demographics and user behavior down to a targeted audience.

Post Share-Worthy Content

lf you want to take advantage of social media’s naturally viral platform, then post content worth sharing.

This is content that possesses one or more of the following factors:

  • Unique
  • Useful
  • Entertaining
  • Controversial
  • Uplifting, inspiring, or motivational
  • Funny

After you post good content, then follow the next tip

Encourage People to Share

Posting share-worthy content is part of the equation.

The other part to present a call to action where you specifically ask people to share, retweet and re-post your content.

For example: Click share if you agree!

Another example: Share with your friends they’ll love you for it!

Funnell Fans and Followers Back to Your Site

While it’s great to build up a big social media following, don’t forget that the goal is to drive traffic back to your website.

One good way to do this is to pin a post at the top of your page that offers people a free lead magnet product in exchange for their email address.

You can then link to your web page.

TIP: Many of the major email service providers offer Facebook apps you can use to build your list.

Check with your provider to see if they offerthese tools.

Start a Contest on Social Media

You can get more subscribers, followers, and traffic if you offer awesome prizes and use a tool like

Rafflecopter lets people get more entries by sharing your contest with their friends, which can make your contest go viral.

Pro Tip: Offer all runners up a limited-time discount coupon on your products as a consolation prize.

It’s a good way to boost sales!

Redesign With SEO in Mind

If you’re getting ready to build or redesign a website keep SEO in mind. Don’t do a thing until you’ve figured out your main keywords.

Then you can include those keywords within the navigation menu, other internal links, page titles and more.

Consider Your URL Link Names

Try to include keywords in your links (e.g.,

It’s also a good idea if your domain name includes a keyword, if possible.

TIP: If you’re using WordPress, log into your dashboard, go to Settings and choose Permalinks.

Then choose a link structure which puts the post name in the link.

Note that WordPress also lets you manually choose your link name when you’re creating the post.

Your Website is Mobile Responsive

Google now includes mobile-friendliness as part of their ranking factors.

This means your site should:

  • Have a responsive theme
  • Space links out so they’re easy to tap

You can check your site for free at

Be Sure Your Site Loads Fast

Google prefers sites which load fast, especially for their mobile users.

But you know what?

Your visitors want a fast-loading site too.

So go through your site and, if needed, reduce the size infographics, turn off autoplay on videos or audios, and be sure all scripts are running smoothly.

Place Like and Share Buttons on Your Blog

In other words, make it easy for people to like and share your blog content on social media and get more traffic back to your website.

If you’re using WordPress, you can search plugins for social media share plugins (go to

Or you can directly opt for a popular plugin such as Social Media Feather (at

Analyze Top Traffic Sources and Repeat

Some ad venues provide built-in tracking tools, including Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.

Your email service provider likely does too.

If you need tools for other campaigns, then check out Google Analytics or the alternative at


Implement as many of these suggestions as you can and watch the impact it makes on your business right away.

Want a more hands-off approach?

Fill out our discovery form or browse through our on-demand marketplace.

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SEO Agency vs. In-House SEO: What’s The Difference Really?

SEO Agency vs. In-House SEO: What’s The Difference Really?

SEO Agency vs. In-House SEO…

Who wins?

Well there’s several variables at play.

SEOCost and Expertise being the two most important.

Now you may be thinking I am biased since I run an SEO Agency…

But I know from experience it is extremely hard for one person to do everything required for a company torank in thetop 3 positions for many keywords.

You would need a SEO specialist (on-page & off-pageSEO), a content writer, a blogger outreach specialist, and then someone to manage all these people.

It can be done, but will require 23 hours of work with 1 hour of sleep.

Let’s break it down into a more detail in the infographic below.

Hopefully you will see which one is right for your company.

SEO Agency vs. In-House SEO

Infographic by Digital Third Coast

In case you skimmed through until now here are the facts: a top SEO hire will cost you at least $99 per hour and work more hours than an agency, but with one third of the skills.

So you are going to need to hire a team in-house for your company to really excel.

And that is going to cost some big money.

Or you can hire an amazing SEO agency who will cost less and the ROI will be greater.

Your decision to make…

I am just presenting the facts.

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Is SEO Dead? NoAnd Here’s 14 Reasons Why SEO Is Still Alive

Is SEO Dead? No…and Here’s 14 Reasons Why SEO Is Still Alive

If you spend a few minutes online searching for articles about search engine optimization, you’ll find one marketing expert after another saying SEO is no longer effective.

In fact, many of them will tell you this traffic generation method is dead.

Others will tell you it’s outdated and obsolete, but the overall consensus will be SEO is no longer worth your time.

It’s on its way out and you need to focus on other ways to get traffic to your website.

Now you could look at the current landscape this way or you can recognize SEO is always changing.

Some methods which used to be really effective no longer work, and Google continues updating their algorithms while leaving search engine specialists banging their heads against a table in the dark.

On the other hand, there’s still a group of experts who believe in SEO.

They realize if you’re willing to make adjustments, you can still top the search engine rankings with enough time, patience, and attention.

These experts believe SEO is going through a period of growth, but when all’s said and done, it will come back bigger and better and be a huge winner for those who don’t give up on it.

At this time, search engine optimization is still a great approach for local businesses looking to drive targeted traffic to their sites with an investment returning a huge ROI.

We’ll take a look at the top 14 reasons why SEO is still a killer marketing tactic, hands down.

Is SEO Dead? No...and Here is 14 Reason Why

Content and Design Support by OutreachMama

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9 Eye-Opening Small Business Online Marketing Stats to Impact Your Strategy

9 Eye-Opening Small Business Online Marketing Statsto Impact Your Strategy

Trying to figure out where to spend your small business online marketing dollars this month?

With SEO, PPC, Social Media, and traditional offline marketing there are so many options it can make your head spin.

I put together the infographic and commentary below to walk you through the stats on what generates the best leads.

Take a look and hopefully it will impact your strategy for marketing this month or year.

9 Online Marketing Stats for Small Business

1) Average Cost to Generate a Lead With Inbound Marketing is $143:

Based on our experience it is much cheaper to generate an inbound lead.

The lead usually is already familiar with your small business because of your online marketing.

2) Average Cost to Generate a Lead With Outbound Marketing is $373:

Outbound Marketing does work, but your are putting your info in front of a prospect instead of them finding your information or company.

The costs and leads are usually a bit harder to sell and not as qualified.

3) SEO Leads Have a 14.6% Close Rate While Outbound Leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% Close Ratio:

I have always seen SEO leads to close much easier than mailersor even cold email leads.

The prospect found you and reached out so process is smoother.

4) 97% of Consumers Search for Local Products, Services, and Businesses Online:

This should be a no-brainer.

We all are searching and buying online every day now.

Your company needs to be there when your prospect searches.

5) 61% of Mobile Internet Searches Result in a Purchase:

Mobile devices are in everyone’s hands and the prospectis searching for services on the go.

Once the research or decision is made the buyer purchases right then or travels to the local business destination.

6) 329 Million People Read Blogs Each Month:

People love blogs and the articles which feed them the information.

If you can write informative posts which solve a consumers questions you have yourself a hot prospect.

7) 66% of Consumers Have Made a Purchase via an Email Marketing Message:

Start a weekly email campaign to prospects or past clients.

Cheapest and easiest way to stay in front of people and make additional sales when the time is right.

8) 76% of Consumers Would Prefer Getting to Know a Company via Articles Rather Than Ads:

This goes along with #6.

Inform and answer questions with your blog articles and you will become a leader and authority in your niche….which leads to increased revenue.

9) 46% of People Say Website’s Design is the #1 Factor for Determining the Credibility of a Company:

Make your website professional, clean, and easy to use.

If your website looks like it was built in 1998 then how is the prospect suppose to thinkall your services are up to date.

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Big Brands Crushing Your Small Business? How to Compete Using SEO & Social Media

SEO Small Business

It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

You know you’re selling a better product, one which not only performs better but has a genuine story behind it.

You’re also running an ethical business.

You give back to the community and truly care about your customers.

But you still can’t seem to break through the noise created by the name brand competitors.

Their inferior products are filling store shelves and your target market doesn’t even know the grass is greener on the other side.

As a small business, it can be tough to stand out when you’re competing against big brands which have seemingly endless marketing budgets and troves of people whose sole job is to increase sales.

I know it may seem dark right now, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

There is a plan for small businesses to hop into the ring with the juggernauts and hold their own.

And the truth is, there has never been a better time in history for small businesses to carve out their place in the market.

Why, you ask?

Because of two relatively recent marketing channels:

SEO and Social Media.

The playing field may not be “level,” but these channels are slowly tipping the scales towards small businesses.

The amount of attention available to be grabbed in these channels is astounding.

Even a tiny niche market can feel gigantic and generate profitable returns from these channels if you’re savvy enough to take advantage of them.

In this article, I will break down how small businesses can use SEO and social media to compete with the big brands and grab a piece of the market share for themselves.

It may seem like a daunting task right now, but hopefully after reading this article you’ll have a clear picture of how you can do it too.

Let’s break it down:

Why SEO and Social Media Are Leveling the Playing Field

SEO and Social Media

Don’t get me wrong, money does play a role in both of these channels.

You can buy your way to a lot of exposure on Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, and other search engines and social platforms.

But paid advertising is only a part of the equation.

A big brand can place their ad in front of anyone on a social platform, but will it be personal?

Will it be empathetic to that customer’s true needs?

Will it feel genuine and authentic?

And does that customer feel a personal bond with the brand?

In terms of SEO, a big name brand can easily rank for competitive keywords, but do they have products which cater to a niche audience?

Can they only serve a general market and thus, not benefit from targeted search phrases?

It’s this space where small businesses can stand out, build a name for themselves, and grow beyond their local market.

How Small Business Can Compete With Big Brands in Social Media

Small Business Social Media

Most big brands use social media just like they use radio, television, and print advertisements.

They say “Here’s our product and here’s why you should buy it.”

They don’t say:

  • “I genuinely want to help you, so ask me anything.”
  • “I thought you would find this valuable, even though it’s not my own [content] [product].”
  • “Here’s the story behind our company. Maybe it relates to your life as well.”

Consumers are good at identifying authentic brands from brands who only have a sales agenda.

Social Media has allowed small businesses who genuinely care about their customers and their service to showcase this sentiment and build diehard fans.

All else being equal, many consumers would rather support a business who cares about certain values (such as creating eco friendly products, sourcing locally grown produce, etc) than a large company who forgoes those values for profit.

Small businesses can’t compete with the advertising reach corporations have in television and print.

But in social media, you can create a Facebook page or Twitter account, put out content, and attract free attention many times more valuable than TV or print.

Here’s how to compete on social media as a small business:

1. Use social media to build personal relationships

Large companies are slowly catching onto this, but it’s not too late to make it a cornerstone of your business.

Use social media to engage with your audience, one on one, and build personal relationships with them.

This connection is still rare in the digital business-to-consumer world.

So if you respond to a consumer’s comment or question, that’s a big deal to them.

From their perspective, it shows you’re taking time away from “regular business stuff” (sales/marketing) to make sure your audience knows you care.

This type of engagement hasn’t been commoditized yet, and probably won’t be for at least a few years.

Take advantage of it now.

2. Differentiate yourself to a niche audience

You can’t compete with big brands in the general market, but you can stand out to a niche audience.

And this doesn’t mean your products have to differ greatly from the big brands.

For example, let’s say you sell toothbrushes and you’re competing with a large corporation.

This corporation uses harmful plastic which ends up in landfills, while you use a renewable resource or reclaimed plastic to help reduce landfill waste.

You’re selling the same product, but your niche market is anyone who’s environmentally conscious.

You can stand out on this front by creating content which touches this audience and gets you exposure.

3. Focus on social networks your core audience uses


Just because a network is “hot” right now doesn’t mean you should be on it.

You should be wherever your core audience is, because that’s where you will reach them best.

If your core audience is on Instagram, and your big brand competitor is spending all of their time/money on Facebook, there’s a huge opportunity for you.

Be aware and try to seek pockets of opportunity like this.

4. Create content which fits the narrative of the platform

Not all content is created equal on each platform.

A video on Snapchat could seem unprofessional on Instagram or Facebook.

Yet, an Instagram or Facebook video could seem inauthentic on Snapchat.

Create content to fit the platform.

If you don’t know which type of content fits the platform, follow the popular accounts (in and out of your niche) and study what they’re posting.

5. Be consistent

Your audience has a limited amount of people/brands they can pay attention to.

You need to be consistent in order to enter and stay in this coveted list.

Consistently put out content, engage with your audience, and promote your products every once in awhile.

By pushing out content and engaging, you will naturally spark curiosity leading to sales.

But you should also do direct promotions to build awareness to your offerings and encourage people to buy.

At the end of the day, social media marketing is about building connections.Click To Tweet

Small businesses can stand out in a big way by forming real human connections with their customers and scaling it using these platforms.

How Small Business Can Compete With Big Brands in SEO

Search Engine Optimzation

SEO is a different landscape than social.

It isn’t personal, the most visual aspect are blue links, and you can’t engage with your audience.

But you can still stand out and gain exposure.

Have you ever been in this situation:

You keep finding the perfect keywords to rank for, ones that would send a flurry of buyers your way, but every time you check their results you see 7-10 big-brand websites with impossible levels of authority ranking on the first page?

Here’s the biggest mistake I see small businesses making:

They’re trying to rank for the wrong keywords.

Not only are these keywords hyper competitive, they also don’t have the right buyer intent for their (most likely, niche) product line.

These keywords are what the industry calls head or core keywords.

Keyword Core or Head Term

Images by CoSchedule

They’re one or two words long, and they are typically very competitive terms.

The sites ranking for them have a lot of authority (lots of high quality backlinks pointing to their website) and are tough for a small business to replicate.

Despite being able to rank for these terms and bringing in a ton of traffic, the big brands can be outranked for another type of search term.

These keywords are called long tail keywords.

Head Keyword or Long Tail Keyword

They usually get less searches per month and have lower traffic potential, but they may actually be more profitable for you to rank for than head keywords.


Because your line of products or services probably fits a narrower, more niche audience.

And this is who uses these long tail search phrases (core term + modifier).

Here’s an example:

The keyword “drink bottles” is a head keyword.

As you can see, large brands are ranking for it:

Drink Bottle Google Search

Drink Bottle Brand Google Search

However, the keyword “environmentally friendly drink bottles” is a long tail keyword, and most of the websites ranking for it are smaller niche brands:

Environmentally Friendly Drink Bottles Search

Why does this happen?

Because Google has become good at identifying relevancy.

It can tell how relevant a page is to the target keyword, and how relevant a website is to the searcher’s intent.

So if your business specializes in selling eco friendly drink bottles, and your pages/backlinks are telling Google this, then you’re more likely to rank for related terms than a large general corporation.

And the other websites ranking for these terms probably have less authority, which means the keyword is easier to rank for.

On top of that, your conversion rate will be higher when ranking for these keywords, because you’re attracting your exact target market.

Not people who are looking for the general version of that product.

What do I do if big brands are ranking for the long tail keywords I want to target?

If this is happening, you’re in a bit of a bind.

But it’s not a lost cause.

Here’s what you can do:

Big brands usually have a lot of domain authority.

That is, their overall domain has a lot of trust and ranking power in Google.

I like to call it “Google Juice”

However, their individual pages can sometimes lack direct backlinks and, therefore, ranking power.

This is where you can get a leg up.

In the image above, the red rectangles indicate high authority domains with low page-level links.

The blue rectangles indicate lower authority domains with higher page-level links.

These websites are also more relevant to the search term (oriental rugs) than their big brand counterparts, and with some more page authority they’ll be on their way to knocking them down the search results.

Oriental Rugs Google Search

Relevancy and page authority are how small businesses can compete with authoritative websites on long tail keywords and SEO in general.

Time is On Your Side as a Small Business

You may not have a lot of money as a small business, but what you do have is time.

You have time to invest in the things which really matter.

In social media, you can devote your spare time to creating content which really touches your audience, engages them, and creates personal relationships.

For SEO, you have time to invest in creating a relevant website with relevant backlinks to specific pages you’re trying to rank.

Big brands don’t have this time (or don’t care for it) so they rely on domain authority alone.

Keep pounding away at it.

It’s always hardest to gain initial exposure.

After a certain point, it snowballs and almost begins to run itself (with monthly maintenance).

Giving up too soon is one of the biggest mistakes I see.

Don’t Neglect Trial and Error

Succeeding in both SEO and Social Media Marketing is about one thing:

Testing, testing, testing.

You need to test different tactics and different ways of gaining exposure in your niche.

Don’t assume something is true simply because a big blog/blogger said so.

Test it.

See if it truly works for your business and your niche.

Trial and error is how you will really figure out what works and what you can scale to achieve amazing results.

Over to You

What has your small business been struggling with in regards to SEO and social media marketing?

What are the successes you would like to share which other people might benefit from?

Let me know in the comments below.

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